When it comes to the cost, the comparison is relatively simple. You can find unmanaged switches usually in price ranges from $50 to around $100 (USD) or more. This price usually depends on how many ports you need the switch to have. With managed switches, however, you should expect significantly higher costs. These can range from anywhere in $1500 per port to $2800 (USD) per port. The prices here are more affected by the different features, such as security and access controls that you’re paying for in addition to the switch’s configuration abilities.
Size is not the only thing that matters when deciding on the right switch, as you can get switches with any number of ports, both managed and unmanaged. However, when it comes to smaller networks, such as for small businesses, the home, a single office, or so on, then an unmanaged switch is more likely to be used. Managed switches are better suited to enterprise-sized businesses with a much larger network scope, or for those that use things data centers and need much better control over the traffic within their network.
The advantage to unmanaged switches when it comes to performance is that you can plug and play immediately with your network. There’s no need to set anything up, and it has in-built QoS services to ensure its working well. With a managed switch, however, you can prioritize channels at will, ensuring that you get the best performance where you need it. Furthermore, features like Priority SNMP, which allow for remote troubleshooting of the network, also make it even easier to check for any issues impacting that performance, allowing you to implement fixes if necessary.
The Differences Between Managed and Unmanaged Network Switches
On a basic level, an unmanaged switch allows you to immediately plug-and-play devices into your network, while a managed switch allows for greater control over it. However, the differences go deeper, so it’s time to look at the features, performance, security, cost, and application of each.